Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel, better known as college football’s angels of death, have struck again. The duo scored an exhaustive sit-down with suspected street agent Will Lyles where he confirms that Oregon paid him $25,000 for his “influence with top recruits” rather than any tangible scouting service he provided.
As was apparent the “national package” Oregon released to the public was a sham, a response to an urgent request from Oregon to provide material to justify the payment once they became aware of the initial Yahoo! investigation.
Eleven months passed – from March 2010 until February 2011 – before the Ducks requested a single written recruiting profile, Lyles said. And when that moment came, Lyles said the demand for the reports was sudden and emphatic, leading him to believe Oregon was “scrambling” to establish that he’d provided legitimate traditional scouting services because they were aware of a Yahoo! Sports investigation. Previously, Lyles said he had provided scouting reports verbally in frequent calls with Oregon coaches.
“They said they just needed anything,” Lyles said of the embarrassingly thin recruiting profiles that Oregon made public earlier this month. “They asked for last-minute [stuff]. So I gave them last-minute [stuff] … I gave them, like, old stuff that I still had on my computer because I never thought that stuff would see the light of day.”
What did Lyles do for Oregon? According to Yahoo! he did the following, which could be considered NCAA violations.
*He chaperoned a visit of three recruits to the Oregon versus USC game in 2009.
*He helped Oregon running back LaMichael James transfer to a high-school in Arkansas where he would not need to pass a standardized test to graduate. (should really change the designation to athlete-students)
*He helped Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk obtain tutoring and change his legal guardian so he could circumvent his mother who did not want him to sign with Oregon.
*He worked as a go-between for defensive back Marcus Davis who transferred to Oregon from Texas in 2010.
Lyles provided phone records and handwritten notes from both Chip Kelly and Oregon assistants to corroborate his account. The investigation is ongoing. Third-party recruiting is an area where the NCAA wants to set a firm precedent. Things aren’t looking optimistic for Oregon.
[Photo via Getty]
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